Vinayak Damodar Savarkar, popularly known as Swatantra Veer Savarkar, was a Hindu Nationalist, Independence activist, Writer and Indian Politician. Savarkar is often revered for safeguarding the lost beacon of Hinduism, Hindutva, and Sanatana Dharma. Savarkar served his life to the notion of shielding the cultural heritage and Independence of the nation through Abhinav Bharat Society, Hindu Mahasabha, India House, Free India Society and many other mediums. Savarkar’s indelible sacrifice of guarding the nation against British Colonialism and Islamic Bigotry has exceptional luminosity.
Savarkar: A teacher of Independence Struggle
Vinayak Damodar Savarkar ran two nationalist organizations centred towards the Independence of India: Abhinav Bharat Mandal and Free India Society. Under these organizations, Savarkar trained and shaped many revolutionaries like Madan Lal Dhingra, Anant Laxman Kanhere and Madam Bhikaji Cama. British sources further claimed that Savarkar had his hand in assassinating William Hutt Curzon Wyllie as Madan Lal Dhingra was acting on the thoughts of Savarkar.
The Savarkar brothers (Ganesh and Vinayak) also used to organize “Mitra Mela” in Nasik to mobilize freedom revolutionaries from all over India to make strategies and plans against waging open war against the British government for Independence.
In 1909, Savarkar was arrested on the charges of plotting an armed revolt against British Rule on the ground of the Minto-Morley Reform. Babarao Savarkar was also involved in the same rebellion. The concerned reform proposed the creation of separate electorates for Muslims in India with the motive to spread communal hatred and tensions by applying the principle of “Divide and Rule.” Savarkar and his companions were aware of these nefarious motives of the British government and decided to revolt to force them to repel this act, but they eventually failed to do so due to some “Mir Jafar’s” (used for traitor).
Another big reason behind Savarkar’s arrest was the assassination of AMT Jackson by Anant Laxman Kanhere in 1909. The British had proof that Savarkar gave the gun to Anant to shoot Jackson in retaliation for his brother Babarao Savarkar’s imprisonment in Kalapani (Cellular Jail, Andaman) and other Anti-India decisions. Furthermore, the prime accused of Jackson’s murder, Anant, Krishnaji Karve and Vinayak Deshpande, belong to Savarkar’s Abhinav Bharat Society.
In 1910, Savarkar was again arrested in relation to the revolutionary organization Indian House set in London, England. India House was a revolutionary organization under the leadership of Shyamji Krishna Verma. Savarkar had significant links with the organization and had his several major compatriots enrolled, like Lala Hardayal, Madan Lal Dhingra, Madam Bhikaji Cama, VN Chatterjee, VVS Aiyar, and many more. The organization was meant to unite Indian Students of England to revolt against British bigotry in India. British arrested Savarkar on the ground that Savarkar was involved in major revolutionary undertakings of India House.
Another praiseworthy instance of his life makes us travel in memories to the Caxton Hall in London, where a conference of Indians called to condemn the actions of Dhingra where Dhingra’s brother compares him to a stain on the family, but VD Savarkar disagreed with all of them and refrained from passing the resolution. Eventually, Savarkar got attacked by an unknown person but was defended by MPD Acharya sitting next to him. This instance makes him suffer a lot because it affirms suspicion of the British regarding his involvement in the assassination. (Para taken from Article, “Madan Lal Dhingra: Assassinated Curzon Wyllie, avenged the death of 80 million”)
Cellular Jail days and campaign against Religious Conversion by Veer Savarkar:
Under these above-stated trials, Savarkar was convicted and sentenced to 50 years of Imprisonment in Andaman and Nicobar Island’s Cellular Jail, also known as Kalapani (referred to as the brutality upon prisoners). During his imprisonment in Cellular Jail, Savarkar encouraged many revolutionaries by arousing them from the consciousness of fear and inciting them to revolt against the brutality of the British over prisoners. Savarkar faced several atrocities from the British, and they didn’t even treat him as a political prisoner like others, including Gandhi Ji and Nehru Ji.
During his imprisonment days in Cellular Jail, he saw forced religious conversion practice and torture of Hindu prisoners by some Pathan Jamadars and Wardens. Aided by the British, these Jamadars and Wardens carried out several atrocities over Hindu prisoners. They tortured Hindu prisoners by forcefully feeding them beef meat, converting them to Islam and even giving them Islamic names. To counter this malpractice, Savarkar decided to perform “Shuddhi” of converted prisoners and bring them back to their birth religion. Upon receiving the same news, these Pathan Jamadars tortured Savarkar, poisoned his food and incited Hindu-Muslim riots in the jail premise.
There is widespread contradiction over Savarkar’s disinterest in fighting Bhagat Singh’s death penalty case, but the reality is far away from this biased notion. Actually, they were British who confiscated Savarkar’s educational degrees, including legal ones. The reason behind this confiscation was Savarkar, who refused to take the oath of allegiance to the British King. In Savarkar’s opinion, the allegiance towards the British King reflects disgrace to all those freedom fighters who were martyred fighting for India’s Independence and perseverance of righteousness (Dharma).
Hindu Philosophy of Veer Savarkar:
Savarkar’s literary contribution towards promoting the essence of Hindu philosophy and the idea of Independence includes Essentials of Hindutva, Hindu Pad-Padashahi, Hindurashtra Darshan, Hindutva: Who Is a Hindu?, and The Indian War of Independence, 1857. Savarkar further outlined the vision of Hindu Rashtra (Hindu Nation) and Akhand Bharat (United India, Chanakya’s Philosophy).
Through his written contributions, Savarkar promulgates the vision of Santana Dharma over the concept of “Chaha Padattiyan” (Six approaches) that states Sikh, Jain, Buddha, Shakta, Shaiva, and Vaishnav are collectively constituting Sanatana Dharma. Savarkar’s theories of eradicating caste discrimination and untouchability also depicted the true sense of Sanatani nature in him.
Following the notion of Hindutva philosophy, Savarkar inspired many revolutionaries and prominent personalities like Pandit Madan Mohan Malviya, Lala Lajpat Rai, Madan Lal Dhingra, and Madame Bhikaji Cama, Shyamji Krishna Verma, Swami Sradhanand and several others. His brother Ganesh Damodar Savarkar also known as Babarao Savarkar, elaborated the path of Hindutva and became one of the founding members of RSS (Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh).
Commentaries of Veer Savarkar:
Swatantra Veer Savarkar’s views on Hinduism or Hindutva or Sanatana Dharma:-
“I will live as a Hindu and die as a Hindu. I could not care less if I am not Honored.”ADVERTISEMENT
“I am not afraid of Muslims, I am not afraid of Britishers, I am afraid of Hindus against Hinduism.”
Savarkar’s views upon international relation tactics:-
“You may call it brutal, but self preservation is the law of nature. Morality is found in text books. It does not exists in international relations.”
“The nations who at first sympathized with Abyssinia are now accepting the Italy’s annexation of that country. Their principle is “My nation for me and I for my nation.” We too need to declare that our policy is the same. When I was in jail on the Andaman Island, the prisoners used to respect me as some great person. They brought their complaints and grievances to me. One of them was convicted of theft for twelve times. He realized that his needle had been stolen. He was furious to the suspect prisoner, pointed out to him and said to me, ‘Look Sir, he is a thief. he stole my needle.’ His sense of justice was awakened by the theft, because he was affected. Current international situation is somewhat similar.”ADVERTISEMENT
According to Vigyannishth Nibandh, Savarkar’s views on practicing wearing Burqa:-
“The practice of wearing a Burqa is an ignorant, frivolous, squid custom. Even if it would have appreciated in several Muslim scriptures, it should be discarded today.”
According to Rationalism of Veer Savarkar, it states that:-
“I live in contentment today . When we swore to fight for freedom we knew that we would not be alive to see India become independent. We knew that our generation was meant to suffer and die. We regarded our work to be like that of Sappers and Miners in the army. It is this unit that makes the roads safe for the soldiers to march on and win the battle.ADVERTISEMENT
True, we would not have seen India become independent, but that did not matter. I was going to do my job and pass away. Yet another generation would have completed the task of gaining our independence.
Lord Krishna in Gita States that:
“You Just do your duty without expecting something in as reward or result.”
The concerned rule applies in all the fields of our activities. We plant mango trees, not to benefit ourselves by it. We know that our grandchildren would enjoy the mangoes.”ADVERTISEMENT
“No one should be under any illusion that they will triumph because justice or God is on their side or that they are literally following a particular religious text. If you want success on earth, you must acquire earthly power and strength.”
Other prominent quotes of Swatantra Veer Savarkar:
“‘Might is Right’ that is still the law. We need to become strong not to oppress others, but to ensure that others do not oppress us.”
“The practice of untouchability is a sin, a blot on humanity and nothing can justify it.”ADVERTISEMENT
“Oh Motherland, Sacrifice for you is life and living without you is death.
Eventually, several attempts were made to distort and dismantle his invincible legacy, but its crystal clear truth is that without Shri Ram’s permission, no one can move even a leaf; his life is still a patriotic battle. Savarkar’s principles, philosophy, revolutionary career, commentaries, and ideals of Independence are an indelible sacrifice that can’t be vanished but can only keep hidden by some inhumane and disgusting elements. The sacrifice and ideas of Swatantra Veer Savarkar still hold a prominent position in the hearts of nation lovers. The journey and commentaries of Veer Savarkar inspired many personalities all across the globe. It’s our collective responsibility to bring out the sacrifice of these sons and daughters of Mother Earth in front of the inhabitants.